The performance of the Gulf markets fluctuated in closing today, Thursday, with the drop in oil prices, while the details of the minutes of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve (US Central Bank) fueled expectations of a slowdown in the rate hike.
Most of the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, peg their currencies to the dollar and usually follow the monetary policy movements of the Central Bank of the United States, which makes the region exposed to the direct impact of monetary policy tightening in the United States.
The Saudi index fell 0.2%, driven by a 1.5% decline in the share of Retal for urban development and 4.7% in the Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib group for medical services.
The index recorded its fifth consecutive weekly decline of 1.8%.
Saudi Arabia’s Magrabi Optical Group, which operates one of the largest chains of eye hospitals and eyewear stores in The Middle East is considering carrying out an initial public offering (IPO) of its hospitals next year, two sources familiar with the matter said, and it has set banks to handle the process.
As for the Dubai index, it closed its trading stall. In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.1%, supported by a 0.8% increase in the country’s largest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank.
The Qatar index lost 0.3%, with the Qatar Islamic Bank 1.1% and Masraf Al Rayan 1.5%.
Farah Murad, market analyst senior in XTP’s Middle East and North Africa division, he told Reuters that the Qatari market follows natural gas price fluctuations and could experience some price corrections if negative energy price trends continue.
Oil prices, a major catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf region, fell to their lowest levels in two months, as the Group of Seven major industrialized countries’ proposed cap on the price of Russian oil raised questions about the extent of its impact on supplies.
A European official said the Group of Seven was discussing setting a price cap for Russian oil being transported via sea between 65 and 70 dollars a barrel, but the governments of the countries of the European Union have not yet agreed on the price.
Outside the Gulf region, the leading market index in Egypt rose 1.4%.
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